TERRENCE Romeo and top rookie pick Stanley Pringle wasted no time showing how potent a backcourt duo they could be for GlobalPort.
The two speedy guards complemented each other and led the new-look Batang Pier to a surprising 79-78 upset of visiting Changwon LG Sakers in their preseason match on Wednesday night at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
Romeo waxed hot in the first half by tossing 22 of his game-high 26 points, before Pringle took over the rest of the way in a performance that justified his billing as the top pick in this season's PBA rookie draft.
The 6-foot-1 Pringle, a veteran of the European league, dropped 19 points, including an 18-footer off Sakers defender Bae Byung Jun, to give the Batang Pier the lead for good, 79-76, entering the final two minutes.
Although the former Penn Star standout failed to finish the game after suffering from cramps on his right leg, Globalport's outstanding perimeter defense held Changwon without a field goal in the last three-and-a-half minutes to pocket the win.
“Unang una, sumabay kasi kami sa takbuhan nila (Sakers) because of Terrence, Stanley, and Jojo Duncil. And then, na-challenge namin mga perimeter shots nila,” said Globalport coach Pido Jarencio.
The Batang Pier mentor, however, tried to play down the victory, despite the fact the Sakers had just beaten Barangay Ginebra Kings, 81-76, in their own exhibition match less than 24 hours ago at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Gusto lang talagang manalo ng mga bata, though nasa proseso pa kami kasi kailangang magka-flow pa kami sa defense at offense namin,” added Jarencio, whose team managed to beat a stacked-up Changwon squad despite missing the services of veterans Alex Cabagnot, Kelly Nabong, Yancy de Ocampo, and Jay Washington.
Jarencio was all smiles when asked to share his thoughts on the Romeo-Pringle tandem at the backcourt.
“Nag-complement sila (Romeo and Pringle). And napaka-positive ng pinakita nila kasi wala silang inggitan,” noted the former University of Santo Tomas coach.
Globalport is looking to make a strong showing in its third season in the PBA after managing to win just two games in the last two conferences this past season under Jarencio.